Recent changes made to the National Construction Code now allow designers and architects to specify diagonally and vertically aligned timber cladding with the same deemed-to-satisfy (DTS) simplicity as traditional horizontal applications.

Though horizontal timber cladding has long been an integral part of the Australian built environment in the form of weatherboards, recent design trends are encouraging architects and designers to increasingly specify vertical and diagonal installation. Existing rules as per the National Construction Code (NCC) required profiled timber boards with a tongue and groove to be fixed with the tongue edge up, not recognising the practice of installing profiled timber boards vertically or diagonally.

A common practice in Australia for many decades, vertical and diagonal installation of timber cladding has performed well as a weather protection element when completed to industry guidelines.

The Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA) submitted a Proposal for Change (PFC) seeking a modification of the NCC to permit the installation of vertical and diagonal timber cladding as DTS solutions. The PFC developed in consultation with industry, incorporated details of current best practice methodologies to enable building surveyors and certifiers to refer to the modified NCC Vol 2 to demonstrate regulatory compliance, removing any uncertainty around the installation of vertical and horizontal cladding.

FWPA’s manager of codes and standards Boris Iskra explains that the provision of a DTS solution has clarified the acceptable installation of external non-horizontal timber cladding and ensured proven traditional installation methods are undertaken in a sound, technical manner to achieve the required performance for external timber cladding.

This PFC is part of FWPA’s broader strategy that aims to encourage the use of wood and wood products in the built environment, benefitting the design and construction sectors as well as the forest and wood products industry and the broader community.